Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Steroids in Colorado State University players' home
April 30, 2012
Steroids in Colorado State University players' home
I read with great interest this article about steroids being found in the home of some CSU football players.  Based on my experience, I am certain that everyone involved with the program is expressing "shock" at this finding.  Coaches and athletic directors are probably expressing surprise - and reassuring fans that this is an isolated instance - that they are confident that there are no other players at CSU that are juicing.  That it's just these three guys and no one else! I am also certain that random testing programs have failed to turn up any steroid usage at CSU in the past - as a result, parents and the public are left feeling comfortable that “our players” would never be using performance enhancing drugs. Yet, when police had reason to search the home where 3 CSU football players live, they found vials of steroids along with the syringes are used for injecting the drugs. About a year ago, another North American university, the University of Waterloo, experienced an almost identical problem.  One of their football players was busted for burglary and in the ensuing search of the player's apartment the police found a large quantity of steroids and paraphernalia.   The Athletic Director suspected that if one player was caught red handed with steroids, then just  maybe the problem was bigger than this one player. The Waterloo AD showed courage and he had the whole team tested at one time – before that day was over, they uncovered the largest group of steroid-using players in the history of Canada university sports!!  Tom, this was at a school where there had been an official random testing program and everyone was confident that there couldn't possibly be any steroid usage occurring on their team. Maybe CSU athletic leadership will follow the lead of the University of Waterloo and have all of their players tested - NOW (this week!).  This would be a real sign of leadership and courage and is the only way to know with confidence how widespread the problem is. But, my experience in this field tells me that CSU leadership will move to paint a picture of this as an isolated case and reassure their fan base that there is no steroid usage beyond this small group of players.  They will put concerns about the lives and health of their players behind their desire to protect the reputation of their university. I hope that they prove me wrong. Don

Although the only charges filed so far against three suspended CSU football players are misdemeanors for disorderly conduct, evidence gathered by police in their investigation of an April 6 altercation points to possible steroid and marijuana use by the players.

Fort Collins police found three used syringes and nine vials of a clear liquid they suspect was a steroid in the room of junior linebacker Mike Orakpo in a home he shares with junior defensive end Nordly Capi and two others, including another Colorado State University football player. A separate search of the residence of junior defensive end Colton Paulhus turned up hypodermic needles, foil packages that indicated they contained anabolic steroids and a bottle of clear liquid that police also suspected was a steroid. Paulhus told police he had a prescription for steroids because his body doesn't produce enough testosterone, but he was unable to produce the prescription, according to police.

Nordly Capi

Fort Collins police said Friday they have not received the results of tests on the vials of suspected steroids. Asked during an April 13 interview with police if the fact that the vials had been taken during the search would be a problem for him, Orakpo's attorney, Eric Fischer "spoke up and said it could be, but he disagreed with us taking it," Fort Collins police Detective Tim Brennan wrote in his report.

Police also found a box containing a bong and a baggie they believe contained a small amount of marijuana and a marijuana pipe during their search of Paulhus' residence, and they found a kit designed to mask marijuana use in drug tests at the home of Orakpo and Capi. All three players were suspended indefinitely from the football team by coach Jim McElwain the morning after the incident, when he learned they were accused in an altercation with another group of CSU students leaving a party near the intersection of LaPorte Avenue and Shields Street. Two of the other students were beaten so badly they required hospitalization. One of the students who was hospitalized, Donny Gocha, also was charged with disorderly conduct.

McElwain, through a school spokesman, declined comment Friday about the evidence police seized from the residences of the players, who remain suspended. "I am aware of the charges filed today against Nordly Capi, Mike Orakpo and Colton Paulhus," McElwain said Thursday in a statement issued by the university. "This matter remains under university investigation, and as of this time, the status of the student-athletes remains unchanged."

CSU's drug-testing policy that all student-athletes must sign allows the school to administer drug tests at any time for "any prohibited substances including but not limited to the list of NCAA Banned Drug Classes." There were no plans Friday, Ozzello said, for additional testing of football players in light of the evidence uncovered by police.

"We actually have a very strict drug-testing policy, and education is one of the keys," Ozzello said.

NCAA rules prohibit the use of steroids and marijuana by student athletes, who are subject to random drug tests for those and other banned substances throughout the year. CSU tests about 30 athletes, randomly selected by the Center for Drug-Free Sport, which administers the NCAA's drug-testing program, every other week, senior associate athletic director Gary Ozzello said. The NCAA makes an exception for "anabolic agents or peptide hormone" if an athlete discloses they are on such medication prior to competition. Ozzello couldn't say whether Paulhus had received such permission.

Athletes who test positive for one of the NCAA's banned substances are suspended from competition for one year. Former CSU linebacker Ricky Brewer missed the 2009 season after a positive test for marijuana following a bowl game the previous year.

Nobody was home when police arrived to search the residence of Orakpo and Capi, according to the 90-page police report on the investigation that was released Thursday. The three detectives and one police officer who executed the warrant said they found the residence unlocked and unoccupied when they arrived, with the front door open behind a closed glass storm door. Police were able to identify the individual players' rooms by signs on the bedroom doors.

Orakpo, the younger brother of Washington Redskins defensive end Bryan Orakpo, started 11 of CSU's 12 games last season and was the Rams' third-leading tackler. Capi was the Mountain West Conference leader in sacks with 10½ and set an NCAA record in the season-opener at New Mexico by forcing four fumbles in a single game. Paulhus played in all 12 games, primarily on special teams.

Paulhus already is on "conditional probation," stemming from a June 1, 2010, case in which he was accused of beating another man, according to court records.